The Critical Eye

Loading...

Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New York Post Cartoon

America the great! It is only in this country where a cartoonist could even think of first, drawing such a cartoon, second, sending it in to his publisher, and third, having the paper publish it. I am down on the floor with laughter at how this would be dealt with in a third-world country. The mere thought of it, brings pain to my head.

Short of being buried in a desert up to your head with a few scorpions and hyena's surrounding you, you would not even dare show your family the cartoon. Out of fear for their own safety -at your stupidity- your own family would turn you in. I dare Mr. Sean Delonas to fly down to Zimbabwe and draw Mugabe. Forget about drawing him as a chimp. Just give him big lips and see what happens.

Try publishing this chimp inference in Libya under Gaddafi and let's wait to see what would happen. My bet is that the whole staff of the Post would be eating through straws for the next three months after getting familiar with the butt of an AK47 repeatedly. Mr. Murdoch would be made to repeat his apology on live television, every day for a year while visibly losing teeth at each taping.

I think that the true insult in this cartoon is not that it was done at all. It's the fact that even in the warranted apology, the New York Post fails to simply do just that, apologize. An excerpt of their so called apology follows;

"It shows two police officers standing over the chimp’s body: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” one officer says. It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill. Period. But it has been taken as something else — as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize. However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past — and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback. To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon — even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."

You see, this type of self righteous indignation is the very reason we have risen up to vilify the Post. The prevailing fallacy that you can hurl an insult, veiled as intelligent humor borders on injury. Somehow we are expected to forget the history of black people being referred to as monkeys or apes and then in true Jedi-mind-trick fashion, ignore the inference.

To have this type of gall is amazing. I can see you being carted away in a nondescript vehicle in Guinea with your family wondering whether they will ever see you again. Mr. Delonas trying to shout, "I'm innocent!" as a boot mashes his face to the floorboard. That, my friends, is how it would jump off in an African country.

There would be no marches, no calls for apologies, no talk shows, no letters. Just a truck load of paramilitary officers sent by the government to come and shut you down and beat the living crap out of every single person associated with this cartoon and rough up your general staff. So for all you folks at the Post, who played a part in this and then had the audacity to 'somewhat' apologize? Remember, America is great! Oh my, America is truly great!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Your Song - For Vuyi

Can I write you a song
I hope you'll sing along
It's not a sad song, or a long song
It's a love song

Long has this melody played
Not too loud, you've often said
For the rhythm makes its refrain
In your love zone, stops to strain

Can I write you a song
I hope you'll sing along
It's not a sad song, or a long song
It's a love song

Never ending days
Holding hands through grassy ways
Gates opened wide, morning music light
Your song 19, Hardcastle tonight

Can I write you a song
I hope you'll sing along
It's not a sad song, or a long song
It's a love song

No one will know
The fellow they often show
Was not the one you knew
Nor the lover you've come to know
With the dog that helped him grow

Can I write you a song
I hope you'll sing along
It's not a sad song, or a long song
It's a love song

So here we are grown
Child of our own
Not having known
Anything but each others glow
And in the midst of it I know
That if it wasn't for you
I would have died
Like many I knew

Can I write you a song
I hope you'll sing along
It's not a sad song, or a long song
It's a love song

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mugabe Beat Down

If you're like me, you've had enough of this buffoon. No, I'm not a Zimbabwean, nor do I have any business interests or otherwise in Zimbabwe. The only thing I have is a few friends from that country and most of them live in America. Good for them. However, if you are a normal person of African descent, you too are fed up. I mean what exactly is the world putting up with this foolishness for?

It's not correct or proper for a man of Christian sensibilities to suggest for someone to take out a President, but this guy has just go to go. His latest act of foolishness has flabbergasted me into writing this call for a 'beat down'. I know calling for a beat down would be just wrong. After all, it's been decades since the civilized world sanctioned such acts (yeah, right, wink, wink!) So since no one can pull the trigger, I suggest a good old fashioned whooping.

You see, it's time for this generation destroying, country killing, people dispersing, inflation creating, syphilitic megalomaniac to go. I'm not talking about peacefully either. If you haven't realized it, Mugabe knows he has gone to that place, the point of no return. That's that place where you either die in power or arrange with an Arab country to take you in (Mobutu Sese Seko & Idi Amin). He is not in a position to back out gracefully. There is no escape, death, his only option.

Mugabe has done that which no other African president has been able to do without either wearing a bullet or running for the border. That's rule for close to three decades. Even in brokering a deal with the opposition, he continues to show his arrogance. CNN reports the following;

"The incident happened the same day that other MDC ministers in the new unity government took their oaths of office. The swearing-in eventually took place but was delayed, the MDC said, because Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party wanted to appoint more ministers than they were allowed in the new government."

The gall of the man. It has become quite clear that this man, has lost his marbles and he and his cronies believe that the land belongs to them. The coalitions that pulled power from Ian Smith and his minions are long gone. Abel Muzorewa and Joshua Nkhomo are long forgotten in this tale of freedom fighters. These ZANU fossils have hijacked this nation and made it their purpose to wring every conceivable vestige of national self respect from its citizens.

I can no longer talk to any of my Zimbabwean friends without asking when they are going to get the guts to take this guy out. I know, I know, the bible says, "Thou shall not kill". I can assure you that there are a lot of biblical stories in which despots were treated with great malice. Mugabe is of particular concern. I apologize to all my Christian family, but that turn the other cheek thing won't work in this case, he would probably shoot you. This is not a man that has shown a preclusion to negotiations or being level-headed.

Mugabe deserves a simple beat down. So I suggest three midgets (vertically challenged folks) with fresh Mulberry branches, standing over him, beating the inflation, the razing of people's homes, the sheer economic incompetence, and the need to remain in power out of him.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Audacity of Success

We attended an event staged by the Bithgroup (www.bithgroup.com) today. This is an engineering and technology firm created by Bob Wallace (CEO)that is located in Baltimore Maryland. His company has become a minority business leader in the local community and he, a notable figure. Today's event, held at Centerstage on Calvert Street, was primarily a networking opportunity for businesses to meet and share possibilities.

Central to this event was the presentation of the Ssese Principles. These principles are "business and wealth creating wisdom embedded in the Holy Bible." Lord knows with the economy being the way it is, we can all use a little help. It was a grand affair with some very notable and influential people from business and political circles in attendance. Okay, this is where my story stops with the newspaper and intellectual talk and starts with the audacity part.

What we basically walked into was a sermon. Bob Wallace proceeded to spend close to an hour breaking down ten of the key points that make up the principles. Each of them tied to scripture and how when entwined and purposed, they are life and business changing paradigms. I watched as the Caucasian gentleman in front of me started to squirm. His female companion would occasionally glance at him, as if gauging when to reach out and grab him as he tried to bolt. Maybe she was looking at him as if to say, "Just say the word Jim, and we are outta here!" What ever it was, it looked painful.

Bob delved into how God's word is an integral part of the fiber of business building. He illustrated the importance of changing ones perspective on the ownership of wealth -it all belongs to God. Now most people of faith have heard these concepts. They are the bedrock of prosperity dialogue -as it relates to sowing seed financially- in the kingdom. However, what makes this double audacious, is the fact that Bob Wallace has the 'freedom' to speak this way to his audience. That's why this article is titled, "The Audacity of Success."

What I saw on stage, is a man who is not apologizing for his belief, but standing firmly on the promises of his God. He is willing to talk as if on the pulpit to a crowd made of people who may or may not believe. He attributes his success to his beliefs and illustrates how changing the concept of kingdom building -from himself to God- changed his life. Through scripture Mr. Wallace shows how God's word clearly speaks to us about sowing and reaping.

That my friends is the audacity of authentic living. The ability to recognize ones minutia in the scope of universal greatness. The realization of how you are not even a speck on the dot of a letter in the book of the galaxy. Here stands a man, who has recognized that in order to reach his full capacity, he must indulge fully at the table of God's grace. The key paradigm's that he discussed were familiar to all the Christians present. We heard, giving, sowing, and reaping, but not quite like this, not in such a venue.

So as my friend continued to squirm, I listened to this great man of God, hold his revival. I begun to understand slowly that when you are comforted by your belief, swimming in the acknowledgment of divinity, you can be this audacious, this arrogant. You can walk like Jesus into the temple, overturn the tables of the money collectors and the merchandisers. You can sit with the pharisee's and show them that their logic is faulty. Best of all, you can give all the credit to God unashamedly.

Somewhere, in the back of Bob Wallace's head, he has simply reconciled these facts; There is a God, he is sovereign. In the scope of universal creation, I am nothing, not even a speck. Why would a God of such magnitude ever forsake me?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It isn't working!

In a recent conversation with Vuyi (my wife), I was extolling the cultural dynamics of marriage in Zambia. Understanding these dynamics is critical as it allows one to understand the degenerative cultural state that can manifest abject emotional numbness. This numbness best describes a typical Zambian man. I may hear some Zambian men object as being characterized as numb, but key to my theory is a generalization that lays in a certain group of men that permeate our society. Unfortunately these men are everywhere you go in Zambia. So forgive me the generalization, if only for the sake of maintaining a point of view. As I was saying in my conversation, as I drove on I-95 in Maryland, I found myself telling her how; even in a male dominated society with a misogynistic view towards female empowerment; marriage seems to work for Zambian relationships. Some will consider the word misogynistic a bit harsh, especially given the fact those many Zambian men consider a philanderer someone with a badge of honor. This love for women, they would say, is diametrically opposed to this view of female hatred. I will explain.

I cannot see how in a society that is rampant with an HIV/AIDS pandemic; primarily spread by heterosexual sex, men cannot consider themselves misogynistic. In an Advert charity article it states; “HIV has spread throughout Zambia and to all parts of society. However, some groups are especially vulnerable - most notably young women and girls. At the end of 2006, UNAIDS/WHO estimates that 15% of people aged 15-49 years old were living with HIV or AIDS. Of these million adults, 57% were women. AIDS has worst hit those in their most productive years, and, as families have disintegrated, thousands have been left destitute. Desperate people will inevitably turn to risky occupations - such as sex work - or migration. There is a saying among women in Zambia: "AIDS may kill me in months or years, but hunger will kill me and my family tomorrow".

The impact of AIDS has gone far beyond the household and community level. All areas of the public sector and the economy have been weakened, and national development has been stifled. As Zambia's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper acknowledges, "the epidemic is as much likely to affect economic growth as it is affected by it." According to the Zambia Business Coalition, 82% of known causes of employee deaths are HIV-related and 17% of staff recruited are to replace people who have died or left because of HIV-related infections. (http://www.avert.org/aids-zambia.htm)

As you can see, these statistics show that the disease is spreading at an alarming rate in a small country with a population of nearly nine million that does not have adequate health care. The majority of the reported AIDS deaths are due to a lack of medication for the usual opportunistic diseases that accompany a depleted immune system. So this alarming death rate continues to go unacknowledged by many in the population as it grows. The –my marriage is fine- myopia that has so permeated our women, causes many of them to sentence themselves to death as they succumb to the knowledge that husbands are unfaithful and endangering them through continued sexual relations. Asking a husband to wear a condom or take an HIV test would be unconscionable, while dying is permissible and acceptable. As long at the death certificate does not mention HIV. None of them do, they usually read, “Cause of death: Unknown.”

Back to this conversation with my wife; I pontificated about how women had for so long played second class citizens and accepted their dutiful subjugated position. I concluded my ten minute diatribe with, “It works for them.” Her quiet and well thought out response was, "But honey, it isn’t working. How can it be when thousands are dying, children are being left as orphans and grandparents are raising babies? Does that sound like something that is working?”

Now ain't that the truth!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Again

You've kept me up again tonight
With that nagging pain in the back of my brain
That incessant hum that grows to a din
Where we know that sleeping is out
There will be no easy repose, no midnight respite
And the phantoms have come in disguises of shame
To this fountain of dreams which lays in sinister doubt
Wrapped in obvious sight, is a decimate plight
Born of evil travail in a perilous night
You've kept me up again tonight
Noise loud as a plane, like thunder again
With it drowning the sound
of my hearts deepest cry
You've kept me up again tonight
Your bandits are rife
stealing dreams without life
Somehow I know this ain't right
No good will come from your sinister plans
Your plodding will die like a footstep afar
Your memory less than the words of the heartless and dead
You've kept me up again tonight
And though you may stand at the crest of this place
Claiming victory after fighting unfair
You will never win my heart
Nor gain any fame from your games of mistrust
For your name is unknown and your face is displaced
You've kept me up again tonight

Would They Come?

As you toil through your days, knee deep in slop
Surrounded by the filth of others decay
their decomposing ways
As you flick your pen about
in dutiful disdain,
playing your part in life's play as if a marionette on display
Do you pause to wonder,
Would they come?
As you meander about, a busy little bee
flitting here and there
on errands of glee, a sumptuous feast of endless routine
Yes that report is done, and no that needs to be redone
Seemingly content and yet ever so waning from continuous weight
and the fervency of hate for these meaningless tasks
Do you pause to wonder
Would they come?
Consider it stark that in fact your life
has become that which you abhor
A meaningless grind for the merchants of grime
who seldom stop to ponder
Their forked tongues flick about,
as they meet in their broods
to chart their next agenda
All the while counting change
which they made off the sweat
of life's poorest wanderers
Do you pause to wonder
Would they come?
For after you've bled from the vampire load
toiled with the buffalo yoke
Carried the giant weight of the whale's carcass
and trudged through the snow
their prize on your head
blood dripping down your face
With buckling knees and arms weak from disease
On your twenty sixth mile of the marathon's run
As you drop at their feet and present them their prize
Through your dying eyes as you look at your death
Do you pause to wonder
Would they come?